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xrayvizhen

What Do You Tell Somone Who Wants to Take Up the Game, but Shouldn't?

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Here's what happened and why I ask the question. I have a brother-in-law same age as me (68) with no hobbies what so ever. He's a stock & bond broker with no outside interests at all. He doesn't collect stamps, he's not a wood worker, he doesn't play tennis, he doesn't do anything but work, work, work. He won't even sit down and read a book. (He claims he doesn't have the patience.) He has no interests other than the stock and bond markets and he's incapable of relaxing. He's also very, very uncoordinated, but nevertheless, a very nice guy. Golf would not be a good thing for him. He has come to me several times over the years and said, "I don't know how I'm ever going to retire because I won't know what do do with myself. Maybe I'll take up golf! You'll teach me!" And I said, "I will not teach you, I can't teach you because I'm not an instructor. You'll need to buy a set of real clubs, not the couple of old irons you have in your garage, and take lessons from a teaching pro."

I did play golf with him once, maybe 10 or 15 years ago. He had a couple of mismatched irons, one ancient 3 wood with loose whipping and a putter all from, I'm pretty sure, the Salvation Army store and he insisted on teeing up every shot, even ones from the fairway. If I say he shot somewhere between 140 and 160 (not counting the whiffs) I'm being charitable. We walked the 18 holes that day and it nearly killed him. When we were done he was totally drained and I actually thought he was going to have a heart attack. I also said to him, "You've managed to live 60 some years without golf, why start now? It will only frustrate you and drive you crazy." Then I jokingly, said to him, "It's too late for me...I'm hooked, but I can save you!" He didn't get the joke, and it didn't dissuade him.

He mentioned it to me again recently so, in the interests of "growing the game" do I encourage him to buy clubs and take lessons or should I continue to try suggesting other things for him to do? (He does have a mammoth wine collection.). I really want to discourage him because knowing him like I do, golf will not make him happy. Also, selfishly, I don't want to play with hm again. That round 15 years ago took over 6 hours to play and there were many groups stacked up behind us cursing and yelling and we were being hounded by the rangers. It was awful.

 

 

 

Edited by xrayvizhen

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Take him to the driving range and drink beer! Then put in a three some on a prime time weekend. He'll either never comeback to golf or decide to take the fight. 

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Maybe you should be honest with him.   Give him all the reasons you cited in your post.  Tell him you won't play with him unless he gets some decent clubs and takes a few lessons.   Also, for the sake of all of us, tell him he gets a maximum of 8 swings per hole, or maybe a maximum of double-par, and then he has to pick up and go to the next hole, because he's holding up everyone else on the course. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Marty2019

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I’ve had a person or two ask me to teach them. I’ve always told them that I’m not a teacher , and I’m not,that they need to seek out a pro. 

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Do you have any par 3 courses around?  That would be a great place to go.  A lil pitch n putt place can be just as fun and then he would get more exposure to the short game.  That would be easier on him for the walking too.

If he likes that then get him to the range and hook him up with a good instructor and then the rest is on him... he will either love it or hate it!

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3 hours ago, Marty2019 said:

Also, for the sake of all of us, tell him he gets a maximum of 8 swings per hole, or maybe a maximum of double-par, and then he has to pick up and go to the next hole, because he's holding up everyone else on the course.

I didn't think of that at the time...double-par and then pick up. But that does mean I'll have to play with him again. Ugh.

1 hour ago, Vinny Cap said:

Do you have any par 3 courses around?  That would be a great place to go.  A lil pitch n putt place can be just as fun and then he would get more exposure to the short game.  That would be easier on him for the walking too.

If he likes that then get him to the range and hook him up with a good instructor and then the rest is on him... he will either love it or hate it!

Good one...there's a pitch & putt right in my town with a driving range. But really, I don't want to encourage him. I wish he would buy a boat 

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Sounds like you have no interest in playing with him so you will have to tell him the truth. 

I am lucky I guess as my bro in law and I have a ton of fun golfing and we usually go play every other week.

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I would explain to him that good equipment, lessons from a pro, and lots of range time are a prerequisite to getting out on a full length 18 hole golf course.  Go with him to a par 3, 9 hole course a couple of times as he progresses (hopefully).  Then buy him a boat and some fishing gear.

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15 minutes ago, NJpatbee said:

I would explain to him that good equipment, lessons from a pro, and lots of range time are a prerequisite to getting out on a full length 18 hole golf course.  Go with him to a par 3, 9 hole course a couple of times as he progresses (hopefully).  Then buy him a boat and some fishing gear.

Beat me to it!

Or take up cricket

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Whether he gets good at golf or not may not be the most important consideration. Golf is part sport, part social in (widely) varying degree for most players I know. We all know people who will never break 100, but they just love golf. I've played with quite a few in league play, many are delightful to play with, some not. I also know some low handicappers who are so tightly wound about golf scoring and berating themselves that I would rather have a root canal than play golf with them, even though they also love the game.

I agree you don't want to teach him how to hit the ball (I am going through that with my wife right now), he should take some lessons and plan to practice if he wants to improve. But you can teach him etiquette, sportsmanship, proper attire and all the other aspects. And he should pick up at double par while he's learning, that's good advice for him and others on the course. If he expects to get good at it without any effort, he'll quickly move on to another pastime. I don't see any reason to try to talk him out of trying golf, just let him know what he's in for IF he wants to get good at it.

Edited by Midpack

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11 hours ago, David in FL said:

Buy him lessons.

Or at least help him find an instructor.

Also, play some golf games. If you've got a big enough practice green you can do basically hole-to-hole mini golf, winner picks the next hole. That's easy to play and because anyone who's played mini golf can putt, not very frustrating.

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It's never a good idea to curb anyone's personal interests. As long as those interests are legal. 

If the guy wants to play golf, let him. Maybe even encourage him. He will eventually either like the game, or he won't. It's his choice to stay, or leave the game.  How well he plays is not important. He may get better, or he may not. That's up to him. 

I know when I first started, the course maintenance people saved a ton of fertilizer money. I stunk up the courses that bad. Pretty sure I am not the only one who started out really bad. :whistle:

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It's his business what he does or doens't do.  You can encourage his interest, or just stay out of it.

I'd absolutely decline the request to teach him and just tell him if he's going to do this, he should get lessons.

as for the other thing, he wants to bond with you on this.....I'd just say you like playing 'good' golf with players of similar skills.  So if he wants this hobby to turn into a 'bro' thing, he has to take lessons and get nice gear and be good enough to enjoy the same course difficulty you do.  And you're happy to wait for that, but shouldn't plan to play a lot with you until then.

It's not your business what he does

it is your business if he wants to do this to be buds with (but only that aspect)

It's a HARD transition to go from work focus to retirement - this might be a great thing for this guy

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12 hours ago, David in FL said:

Buy him lessons.

Yes!

 

12 hours ago, xrayvizhen said:

Here's what happened and why I ask the question. I have a brother-in-law same age as me (68) with no hobbies what so ever. He's a stock & bond broker with no outside interests at all. He doesn't collect stamps, he's not a wood worker, he doesn't play tennis, he doesn't do anything but work, work, work. He won't even sit down and read a book. (He claims he doesn't have the patience.) He has no interests other than the stock and bond markets and he's incapable of relaxing. He's also very, very uncoordinated, but nevertheless, a very nice guy. Golf would not be a good thing for him. He has come to me several times over the years and said, "I don't know how I'm ever going to retire because I won't know what do do with myself. Maybe I'll take up golf! You'll teach me!" And I said, "I will not teach you, I can't teach you because I'm not an instructor. You'll need to buy a set of real clubs, not the couple of old irons you have in your garage, and take lessons from a teaching pro."

I did play golf with him once, maybe 10 or 15 years ago. He had a couple of mismatched irons, one ancient 3 wood with loose whipping and a putter all from, I'm pretty sure, the Salvation Army store and he insisted on teeing up every shot, even ones from the fairway. If I say he shot somewhere between 140 and 160 (not counting the whiffs) I'm being charitable. We walked the 18 holes that day and it nearly killed him. When we were done he was totally drained and I actually thought he was going to have a heart attack. I also said to him, "You've managed to live 60 some years without golf, why start now? It will only frustrate you and drive you crazy." Then I jokingly, said to him, "It's too late for me...I'm hooked, but I can save you!" He didn't get the joke, and it didn't dissuade him.

He mentioned it to me again recently so, in the interests of "growing the game" do I encourage him to buy clubs and take lessons or should I continue to try suggesting other things for him to do? (He does have a mammoth wine collection.). I really want to discourage him because knowing him like I do, golf will not make him happy. Also, selfishly, I don't want to play with hm again. That round 15 years ago took over 6 hours to play and there were many groups stacked up behind us cursing and yelling and we were being hounded by the rangers. It was awful.

Plus he sounds like he has some money, so he can get fit continuously as his swing improves. He can go to Golftec and work on his swing all day with the best packaged deal. He can also join a country club with all the game improvement resources as well.

I'd say he could actually buy himself a reasonable game. Bogey seems possible and better is also possible.

If he doesn't get that much better, then at least all this "stuff" will give him something to do other than just pass time away.

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